Tang Prize laureate praises spirit of the award

2014/08/19 14:50:00 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Historian Yu Ying-shih (left) and Tang Prize Foundation CEO Chern Jenn-chuan.

Historian Yu Ying-shih (left) and Tang Prize Foundation CEO Chern Jenn-chuan.

Taipei, Aug. 18 (CNA) Chinese American historian Yu Ying-shih, winner of the first-ever Tang Prize in Sinology, has spoken positively of the influence of the prize and the growing significance of the study of Chinese culture worldwide.

Yu praised Ruentex Group Chairman Samuel Yin for creating a prize for Sinology and valuing the humanities, according to Tang Prize Foundation CEO Chern Jenn-chuan, who arrived in New York on Friday to formally invite Yu to the Sept. 18 award ceremony in Taipei.

The author of nearly 60 books and some 400 essays had high hopes for the positive influence the Tang Prize, touted by the foundation as supplementing the Nobel Prize, could have on his field.

Scholars outside the Chinese-speaking community have begun to put a premium on Sinology and many Western and Japanese academics have delved deeply into the field, Yu said.

Voicing confidence that the Sinology prize would go to non-ethnically Chinese scholars in the future, Yu said the prize has generated much discussion among scholars around the world since he was named the winner in the category in June.

During his visit to Taiwan in mid-September, the historian is expected to meet with President Ma Ying-jeou on Sept. 19 and visit Academia Sinica, Taiwan's top research institution.

The Tang Prize Foundation selected Yu as the winner of the first Sinology prize for his original research and insight into the intellectual history of China.

The 84-year-old will receive a cash prize of NT$40 million (US$1.3 million) and a research grant of up to NT$10 million.

The foundation has previously said all five winners including Norwegian Gro Harlem Brundtland, the winner of the sustainable development prize, will be in Taipei to collect their awards.

The other winners are James P. Allison of the United States and Tasuku Honjo of Japan, who shared the prize for biopharmaceutical science, and South African Albie Sachs, who was named the winner of the prize for rule of law.

(By Lo Kuang-jen and Scully Hsiao)
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